Poet: Angela France

Carefully, I sort recycling on my knees

each bottle-chink in the bag, or silence

of plastic in the box feels like a plea,

a prayer.

                The crowd’s insistence

on guilty clicks on sad or angry faces

dilutes the true significance

of the scrolling pictures, the glacial

cracks and calvings, rainforest fires,

storms and floods.

                                  Endless pages

of drowning refugees, tired

rescuers carrying bloodied babies

from bombed houses, scared

children sleeping rough in rich cities.

Scrolling feels like vertigo; hearts

and kittens don’t dilute constant crises

and paying attention is like the stark

brilliance of winter sun on a wet road;

all I see ahead is the shape of something dark.

Angela France’s publications include ‘Occupation’ (2009), ‘Lessons in Mallemaroking’ (2011) and ‘Hide’ (2013). Her latest collection, The Hill came out in July 2017 with Nine Arches Press and has been developed into a live multi-media poetry show. Angela teaches creative writing at the University of Gloucestershire and in various community settings. She runs a reading series in Cheltenham, ‘Buzzwords’.